The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2012-11-21T05:00:52Z High Bushfire Risk For NSW In 2013 2012-11-21T05:00:52Z high-bushfire-risk-for-nsw-in-2013 Early estimates from the Bureau of Meteorology predict a high to very high risk of bush-fires this summer. High rainfall and temperate conditions during the 2012 winter have encouraged vegetation growth throughout the eastern areas of New South Wales. This greater than average dense vegetation growth, along with the early arrival of summer has caused the NSW Rural Fire Service (http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/) to alert homeowners to the increased fire risk this summer. The early onset of summer has dried the vegetation earlier than normal, providing bush-fires a higher fuel load than an average summer. The Central Coast in New South Wales, the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, and Albany in West Australia have already had disastrous bush-fires, even though the traditional bush fire season has only just begun. The NSW Rural Fire Service has performed extensive back-burning in rural areas in New South Wales, but are still worried about the coming summer conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a longer, drier summer than normal, which is worrying for the emergency service. The combination of high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity are the weather conditions that produce “deadly bush-fires”. Researchers are worried about the coming summer conditions as well. Professor Karoly from Melbourne University states that “not only does Australia naturally have fire conducive weather patterns, but now those conditions are getting worse”. Property owners in rural areas areas need to be prepared. The New South Wales Fire Department has been encouraging homeowners to prepare their house for summer during spring. Yard preparation is vital, as well as formulating an emergency escape plan, and emergency preparation bags. Property owners are encouraged to obtain a fire preparedness checklist from the NSW Rural Fire Service, and complete their preparation as soon as possible. The NSW Rural Fire Service is especially encouraging individuals to “keep the ground around your home clear of leaves and other litter and remember to clean your gutters regularly, to reduce the fire's potential fuel source”. Embers travel in the wind well ahead of the fire front. Houses that may seem to be in a safe area are still at risk, as embers can land in dry leaves in gutters and gardens. The dry debris in gutters is especially hazardous, as the intense heat on a roof creates an environment at risk for spot fires. Gutter Cleaning Sydney recommend households clean their gutters at least once a month during bushfire season. Leaves and environmental debris can quickly build up in gutters as summer storms push through the state. Gutter Cleaning Sydney recommend the use of gutter guards to prevent gutters building up with sticks and leaves, but say homeowners need to be cautious about what type of gutter guards they install. Although polymesh gutter guards are very effective at keeping debris out of gutters, they are not recommended in rural areas as embers can easily cause them to catch fire. Powder coated aluminium gutter guards are the only types of gutter guards recommended for fire prone areas.